No 1831 Posted by fw, November 22, 2016
The following passage is an excerpted, slightly edited selection from the Independent’s October 2016 review of a new BBC documentary film, HyperNormalisation, by director Adam Curtis.
Director Adam Curtis’s latest film, HyperNormalisation, looks at how “we have retreated into a simplified and often completely fake version of the world”, and the various social, political and cultural agents that have landed us in this seemingly hopeless world situation. Curtis delivers a thoroughly uncompromising, compelling film, which clocks in at 2-hours, 46-minutes.
Nearly all the political moments Curtis drops in on are well known, but he reconceptualises them in an engrossing way. Initially a daunting prospect, you end up wishing HyperNormalisation had an even longer runtime or was episodic, especially as it is not until very near the end that it starts to deal with the ideologically localised echo chamber of the internet.
One of the lines that sticks with you is, “You were so much a part of the system that you were unable to see beyond it.”
In creating deliberately disorientating world narratives, Curtis is to be applauded for making a documentary that those in power are trying to silence.
Adam Curtis’ Voice-over Introduction to HyperNormalisation
We live in a strange time. Yet those in control seem unable to deal with them, and no one has any vision of a different or a better kind of future. Extraordinary events keep happening that undermine the stability of our world: suicide bombers, waves of refugees, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, even Brexit.
This film will tell the story of how we got to this strange place. It is about how, over the past 40 years, politicians, financiers and technological utopians, rather than face up to the real complexities of the world, retreated. Instead, they constructed a simpler version of the world in order to hang on to power.
And as this fake world grew, all of us went along with it, because the simplicity was reassuring. Even those who thought they were attacking the system – the radicals, the artists, the musicians, and our whole counterculture – actually became part of the trickery, because they, too, had retreated into the make-believe world, which is why their opposition has no effect and nothing ever changes.
But this retreat into a dream world allowed dark and destructive forces to fester and grow outside. Forces that are now returning to pierce the fragile surface of our carefully constructed fake world.
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